• Ball clearly over line but not spotted by officials
• Defeat at Bolton leaves QPR in bottom three
Each May, two clubs square up against each other in what is dubbed the "£60m match". We all used to know the Wembley contest as the Championship play‑off final, of course, until the magnitude of the prize on offer led to its informal, capitalistic rebranding. For the winners, the swag and the kudos of a Premier League place; for the losers, the bus fare home and another Football League bun-fight.
Bolton Wanderers and Queens Park Rangers may well look back on Saturday's fixture as their own version of the above when things are analysed post-season. And if it proves a pivotal result in the relegation stakes, and on balance sheets, ire at the human error that shaped it will only intensify in Shepherd's Bush.
This "proverbial six-pointer" was deadlocked when Clint Hill's powerful close-range header was clawed back into play via the crossbar from two feet behind the line by the Bolton goalkeeper, Adam Bogdan. Failure to spot the legitimacy of the defender's 20th-minute effort by the assistant referee Bob Pollock increased the clamour for goalline technology to be fast-tracked into English football for next season and – after the Bolton substitute Ivan Klasnic's late winner – of QPR dropping out of the top flight. QPR though did benefit from a linesman's decision when Djibril Cissé's goal, which equalised Darren Pratley's header, was allowed to stand despite the striker being offside..
Defeat left them with only one win in eight league games under Mark Hughes, and plunged them into the bottom three with six of the top seven still to face on the home straight. The points swing against a direct relegation rival proved all the more galling for Hughes's side.
"It would have been my first Premier League goal. You try your entire career to get into this league and I thought I had opened my account, but unfortunately they didn't see it," said Hill, the defender whose path to the top flight took in outposts such as Tranmere and Oldham. "I knew straight away. You could even see it by the reaction of their team that it was a goal. Every little thing seems to be going against us at the moment. I'm not saying we would have gone on to win the game, but it would definitely have kick-started us.
"You do look at everything – every decision, every mistake, missed tackle or opportunity – and think: 'If only that had gone our way.' But the league table doesn't lie and we haven't been good enough for whatever reason. Now we're going to have to do it the hard way, and if we do, it will have been one hell of a season. We're in the bottom three so people outside the bottom three will be favourites to stay up. Can they handle that side of the pressure? I don't know. It will go right to the end."
Hill has overcome a sense of injustice to survive before. "I've been at this end many times, like at Crystal Palace when we lost 10 points and went into administration, and we went to the last game at Sheffield Wednesday and managed to get a point to stay up. I know this situation better than most people. You've got to embrace it, raise your game and come out fighting."
Owen Coyle has experience of winning a battle against the drop as Bolton manager, two years ago, and believes, as then, a borrowed Arsenal teenager can prove his trump card. Ryo Miyaichi has followed Jack Wilshere's route north and after seeing the Japan international tee up Klasnic's winner, Coyle said: "I'm just so excited by him. He just gets better and I believe he will have a big impact in these remaining games. He's wiry and he can take kicks. He will be black and blue but he shows unbelievable quality, is brave and has got a great temperament."
Man of the match Ryo Miyaichi (Bolton)